Up to 1000 young athletes aged 14-18 are set to compete on the Caribbean island nation from 18-23 July 2017 in eight sports - Athletics, Swimming, Rugby Sevens, Cycling (Road), Judo, Boxing, Tennis and Beach Soccer. Beach Volleyball may also be added to the programme subject to final ratification by the Commonwealth Games Federation.
Louise Martin CBE, Commonwealth Games Federation President, said:
“After the inspiring success of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa last year, we look forward to a week of inspiring sporting competition, personal development and international friendship as up to 1000 aspiring young athletes prepare to represent their country on the great sporting islands of The Bahamas.
The Commonwealth Games Federation is working in close partnership with the organisers and communities of The Bahamas to deliver an accessible and inclusive Caribbean carnival of sport and culture. It will be a Games to remember as our 71 nations and territories celebrate the potential and achievements of our finest, young Commonwealth athletes.”
Dr Daniel Johnson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, said:
“Next year when the world casts it eyes on the Bahamas, we will become the first Smart Island in the world. The Commonwealth Youth Games will be the continuation of more global events to come to the Bahamas as they show the quality of what can be done, following the hosting of the IAAF World Relays, the upcoming FIFA World Cup of Beach Soccer and the World Cup of Flag Football.
It’s a moment in history that will never change. We have to take advantage of it. When people come to a sporting event, they are coming to see who we are as a people. That is what Team Bahamas is all about. It’s about showing the world who we are and why.”
Wellington Miller, Chair of Bahamas 2017 and President of the Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association said:
“Planning for this event has officially begun and we anticipate the best event ever held within the region. I’d like to thank the Government for its unwavering support and ask every Bahamian to be a part of “Who’s Next”.”
The Youth Games are for some – like Kirani James (Athletics), Chad le Clos (Aquatics) and Jessica Ennis-Hill (Athletics) – the springboard to future Commonwealth Games glory or a formative first taste of international multi-sport competition. For all, they represent a joyous celebration of impactful performance, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships made on the level playing field of sport.
Launched in 2000 and now in its 6th edition, the Youth Games are a sustainable opportunity for smaller cities and nations to benefit from hosting a major sporting event, using predominantly pre-existing venues (in Nassau’s case, most events take place in the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre) whilst also promoting an inclusive and positive youth agenda.
With 50% of Commonwealth citizens aged 25 and under, the Youth Games play a vital part in the Commonwealth Games Federation’s vision to inspire Commonwealth athletes to drive the ambition and power of all Commonwealth citizens through sport.